“She sells seashells by the seashore.” It won’t be the first time that you’ve heard this unpronounceable sentence. There are sentences in every language that trip us up because of the difficulty of their pronunciation. In this post, we want to show you some of the most difficult sentences in English; those that, as hard as you try, you don’t manage to pronounce correctly. A trick: repeat them without stopping, this is how you will improve your pronunciation.
What are the English expression that we pronounce the worst?
Some sentences in the English language are constructed in such a way that they can be difficult to pronounce correctly, especially when you are learning the language. However, you must know that focusing on their pronunciation is an excellent way to practice improving at a language. Let’s not waste any more time and see what they are:
- Six sick slick slim sycamore saplings. We’re starting strong, hey? It’s possible that you have tried to pronounce this sentence without success; don’t worry, you are not the only one. Natives themselves also have problems pronouncing it correctly.
- A box of biscuits, a batch of mixed biscuits. Also quite complicated, given that the stress is on the final syllables, which can be difficult to join together with a word that starts with a consonant.
- Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. Did Peter Piper pick a peck of pickled peppers? If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked? This is a funny poem that is perfect for practicing pronunciation and spoken fluency. As you can see, the letter “p” is repeated numerous times, which is from where the difficulty arises. This pretty poem has the challenge of a lot of “p’s” that are pronounced one after the other.
- Betty Botter had some butter, “But”, she said, “this butter’s bitter. If I bake this bitter butter, it would make my batter bitter. But a bit of better butter that would make my batter better.” So she bought a bit of butter, better than her bitter butter and she baked it in her batter, and the batter was not bitter. So ’twas better Betty Botter bought a bit of better butter. What a mess! This is another poem (or rather, tongue twister) that, as well as being long, is very complicated to pronounce.
- Unique New York. A small phrase that, at first glance, seems inoffensive. The curious thing is that it poses a pronunciation challenge for English speakers because it is a false friend.
- Don’t worry, I was just giving you a hard time! The most difficult sentences in English can be solved when you remember the use of key letters. Once you have spotted them, and also know the correct pronunciation of each word, you should practice the type of intonation.
- Did you mean it? Or were you just saying it? In this phrase you will see that, in the word “did”, the i acts like an e. The trick is to try to join it all together by repeating it numerous times. Like so, you will manage to make it sound natural and gain fluency in the conversation. On the other hand, a tip to achieve a good intonation is to add “Hey!” before questions; this helps to spot where the emphasis should be placed when speaking. Repeat it a few times, faster and faster and, slowly, you will start noticing the difference.
- Raise your hand and lower your voice when you talk to me. This sentence is riddled with key and semi-key letters, such as H or V. Same as with the previous ones, when you have identified them all, you can start practicing intonation.
- They would have to rise the price of the rice. What is most special about this sentence is the use of the verb “to rise”, which here means to increase. With regard to the pronunciation, in this case, the h can be omitted, so “have” will sound like “af”. Like so, you can obtain better word linking.
Remember, the trick is to add “yes!” before a sentence to identify the correct intonation and to be able to give it more speed and fluency as you practice.
It is normal that, being natives of another country, it is hard for us to pronounce certain words or phrases in another language. This also happens in English. This is a language that can use very different constructions from the ones we know.
This is precisely why it is so important to avoid getting annoyed (especially at first), as these problems are normal. Always stay motivated and don’t stop practicing these difficult sentences in English, as sooner or later you will begin to see progress, which will push you to keep going. And if you want to learn even faster and more effectively, don’t think twice about putting yourself in the hands of a teacher. They will help you achieve good intonation and pronunciation and they will also correct you when necessary. At Blarlo we have the best native professionals, so don’t think about it any longer We look forward to hearing from you!